In the News

California Should Welcome Licensed Workers, Not Make Them Deal With Unnecessary Hurdles: Gretchen Baldau in The Orange County Register

If leaders in Sacramento are serious about reversing the California exodus, this expansion of worker freedom is worth pursuing.

Gretchen Baldau, ALEC Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force Senior Director, was featured in The Orange County Register, explaining how Sacramento can begin to reverse the California exodus by expanding worker freedom through licensing recognition.

Nearby Nevada, Arizona, and Colorado regularly welcome Californians – not only with lower taxes and a lower cost of living, but also by recognizing their out-of-state occupational licenses. This means licensed professionals can quickly begin working upon arrival, rather than wasting time and money to get re-licensed in their new home state.

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the problem with occupational licensing barriers across state lines when additional healthcare workers were needed in states affected most by the virus. New York, for instance, issued temporary executive orders recognizing licenses for out-of-state healthcare workers to meet the increased demand for critical care.

While it is important for healthcare workers to freely work across states during an emergency, the demand for workers from other states exists outside of pandemics and across industries. Building on the success of those temporary measures, states can make these reforms permanent and let all workers from all professions more easily move and work across state lines.

Today, 22 states have occupational licensing recognition policies on the books. As explained in the new American Legislative Exchange Council report, “Labor Reform Policy: 50 State Factsheets,” a recognition laws assert that “if you have held an occupational license for over a year, states should grant you a state license.”

Read the full op-ed here.